October’s LD Profile is the internationally celebrated Tupac Martir of London’s Satore Studio. Tupac is a lighting designer and visual artist who works intnerationally from Mexico to the Middle East, bringing his very creative brand of art to the mainstream. Tupac’s firm’s work ranges from concert tours, video and interactive installations, and large scale light art to multi-disciplinary operas like Tupac’s Nierka, which mixes music, video, lighting, and human movement to tell its harrowing story.
Tupac was kind enough to answer our five questions for the LD Profile — thanks Tupac!
Chauvet Professional: How did you get into this field?
Tupac Martir: I originally trained as an artist, one day I got tired of the bohemian life and got asked to create some sculptures for the Mexican Opera House. I got promoted to Associate for Set and Costume and after a few months I started assisting everyone!!!! So I learned a bit of lights, video, production, directing, etc. Slowly I was able to dedicate more time to each craft and eventually learning more about each one. I am at the end a jack of all trades, trained as an artist but made a multidisciplinary man.
CP: What do you think is the next big thing in the lighting industry?
Tupac Martir: I still think automation, sensors, infrared, cameras, tracking is were we are heading. The more you see shows, there is more movement in the space, whether is a screen (U2, RHCP, Radiohead, etc) or full pieces of scenery, it is all about the transformation of the space.
CP: Who is your favorite designer, other than you of course?
Tupac Martir: I got loads of them, I think Leroy Bennet is up there together with Robert Lepage. Both of them have changed drastically the way that I see the space, Roy by the use of equipment and amazing ideas, while Lepage influenced the way I understand and have created my own language as an artist/designer for live entertainment.
CP: What has been your favorite design project, and why?
Tupac Martir: There have been many, but It has to be “Nierka”. I created that show from scratch, writing the script, music, conceptualizing the design for every single element and how it would interact with each other, finishing by directing the whole thing and understanding what I want to do for the rest of my life. It’s not easy to wake up everyday and motivate people to come to work and give it their all, but somehow I was able to transport myself and fight through it. Also the fact that we were creating everything from scratch, reutilising concepts from the 60s, mixing them with new media, it was like living in a playground and being aloud to play and think of no boundaries.
CP: What was the biggest unforseen obstacle that you’ve faced in one of your designs, and how did you overcome it?
Tupac Martir: Every show has them, but I guess it’s a show in Cuba. It was very early in my career and I had created a show that had around 180 cues. We got to the theatre and they told me that there were over 250 dimmer channels and that any position I could imagine had a power point. As you can imagine I was very giddy, unfortunately they only had 3 par cans and obviously that was that. So I got some radios, gels and gloves that I had brought just in case and gave them to the three technicians. My tech time was more about them learning their movement around the theatre, understanding their focus positions and which colour went where. Each tech would go to a position and radio me that they were there, then I would bring the desk at 10% so they could focus, once focused I would bring the intensity that I needed, taking out another par can and he would move to a new position, we did this throughout the play. In the end I had about 50 cues, but it looked as if I had a whole lot of equipment.
Check out Tupac Martir’s work at Satore Studio, it’s well worth the trip!